|Ticker symbol||Company||Price as of 1/24/03||52-week high||52-week low||% price change last month||Revenue per share T4Q||% total debt/total capital|
|DIRECT TO CONSUMER|
|JILL||J. Jill Group||12.90||27.50||11.90||(39.9)||332||13.5|
|LVC||Lillian Vernon Corp.||4.32||8.25||3.65||(7.9)||247||0|
|DIRECT TO BUSINESS|
|BBOX||Black Box Corp.||$42.20||$55.7||$28.02||(10.3%)||$631||13.9%|
|CDWC||CDW Computer Centers||45.90||60.00||40.25||(14.0)||4,265||0|
|MSM||MSC Industrial Direct||18.30||24.36||9.30||0.1||816||0.3|
|NEB||New England Business Service||23.75||29.31||19.10||9.7||553||52.4|
|SSPY||Sport Supply Group||1.95||2,00||0.96||3.3||100||31.6|
|Source: Financial Advisory Partners and company filings|
Did 2003 start off well for publicly traded catalogers? That depends. “Our two sectors took different paths in January,” says Ken Packer, of Waukee, IA-based Financial Advisory Partners. “Direct-to-consumer stocks underperformed the broad S&P 500 market average, and direct-to-business stocks outperformed the S&P 500.”
The discrepancy, Packer says, results from the differing reactions of consumers and businesses to the recession. “The market recognizes that consumers tend to reduce discretionary spending during recessions, while businesses tend to look for more-efficient vendors, leading to share gains for direct-to-business marketers,” he explains. Overall, b-to-b catalogers have been more profitable than their consumer counterparts during the year, a trend that Packer expects to continue through 2003.
Among the eight public consumer marketers tracked for Catalog Age by Financial Advisory Partners, all but two — women’s apparel cataloger/retailer Coldwater Creek and audiotape mailer MediaBay — saw share prices fall in January. Coldwater Creek and MediaBay were, in fact, the biggest gainers of all 20 companies tracked.
Of the 12 b-to-b catalogers tracked, seven suffered a drop in share price. New England Business Service (NEBS) enjoyed the greatest gains among the b-to-bers.
Multibrand gifts marketer 1-800-Flowers.com and women’s apparel cataloger/retailer J. Jill Group shared the dubious distinction of having seen their stocks lose the most value: nearly 40%.